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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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c staged * trials., were completely aware that no power in the world would
be able to save their lives—but, the life of their family could still be bought
at the price of' confession ' and there was no price too high for a man who
knew he was already dead. If such strange behaviour OR the part of the
accused amazed the onlookers at the first of these trials, the same technique
repeated at the succeeding ones no longer surprised them. The accused
merely repeated what he had been ordered, aware that it was immaterial
to the judges and the court, for the verdict was already pre-destined. It
would be as well to point out here that, although foreign correspondents
were permitted to attend these trials, only the censored version issued by
the Soviet Information Bureau was allowed to appear abroad.
The trial of June 18., 21, 1945, in Moscow, was remarkable for the fact
that for the first time there stood in the dock under the charge of anti-
Soviet activities, the legal governing body of a foreign country, a country
not at war with Russia, on the contrary, one whose forces were helping
the advancing Red Army. The Soviet authorities stated that on the
grounds of their agreement with the * Lublin Committee * they had the
right to try these men. This explanation was the more extraordinary
•since, on April 24, therefore a month after the arrest of the Polish leaders,
Osubka, the Chairman of the c Lublin Committee,' had stated at a Press
conference in Moscow that he knew nothing whatsoever about the arrests
of these men and in fact that " the whole story was fictitious and had
been invented by the London Poles in order to discredit the Lublin
The main accusation was levelled at General Okulicki, in an attempt to
present the arrested men as a body acting against the Red Army. He and
the Vice-Premier, Jan Jankowski, together with the three Ministers,
Antoni Pajdak, Adam Bien and Stanislaw Jasiukowicz, and the Chairman
of the Council of National Unity, Kazimierz Puzak, were charged with
being the organisers and leaders of the Polish Underground in the rear
of the Red Army in Eastern Poland (annexed by the U.S.S.R.) and in the
Western half of Poland, since " they acted according to the instructions
received from the so-called Polish emigre Government in London."
They v/ere alleged to have organised and conducted a vicious action
directed against the Red Army and the Soviet Union, by terrorist attempts
against the officers and privates of that Army and by raids carried out by
armed troops; also of having conducted propaganda hostile to the Soviet
Union and the Red Army, and of co-operation with Germany. Okulicki
was in addition accused of espionage on behalf of... The name of the
Power was not mentioned, but the word'TLondon was repeated again and
again throughout the proceedings. The remaining accused men were
charged with having participated in the Underground organisation and
of not informing the Soviet military authorities of the failure of the
Underground leaders to execute the orders of the Red Army and hand
over radio sets, printing machines, arms and ammunition.